Training Articles

Treadmill Training

Why is it one of the best ways to train?

By Mark Becker, Exercise & Leisure

  1. Contrary to what many marathon runners believe, training on a treadmill will improve performance. There are many documented accounts of elite marathon runners that performed all or most of their training on treadmills*. The primary reason for the improvement is that long training runs place a great deal of repetitive stress on your muscles and tendons. A treadmill will absorb a large amount of impact, therefore reducing that stress and allow the runner to go into a race with fresher legs.
    * "Treadmill Training for Runners" by Rick Morris
  2. When rehabilitating a running injury, the softer running surface of a treadmill makes it a superior method for training. Running outdoors will place more stress on your injury and could delay your rehabilitation. Consider doing all your runs on the treadmill until your injury is completely healed, then gradually add in some outdoor running.
  3. Training for a Marathon requires commitment and motivation. Training on a treadmill offers motivation because of the feedback it provides. Treadmills will give you an accurate account of mileage, time, heart rate, calories burned, pace, and incline. They also offer preprogrammed workouts and custom workouts so the user can program any type of run that they want mixing elevation changes, speed changes or both.
  4. Running hills is one of the best ways of building strength, and improving race performance. Most treadmills will elevate from 1% to 12%, which allows the runner to simulate any outside terrain. Unlike running outside, the treadmill won't allow you to slow down when you get tired unless you decrease the speed.
  5. Running for 2 or 3 hours can be boring. When running on a treadmill you can watch TV. Watching movies or shows that you tape is a great way to keep you entertained. It also provides motivation to get back on the treadmill.
  6. Many treadmills offer "Heart Rate Training". This allows the treadmill to regulate your speed and elevation according to where your heart rate is. If you heart rate drops below your target range the treadmill either speeds up or increases your elevation. If your heart rate rises above your target heart rate, the treadmill will decrease your speed or elevation.